Hip, hip, hurray for newest graduates!

Rowdy cheers, squeals of delight and occasional tears brought on by overwhelming pride.

Rounds of applause, followed by still more rounds of applause.

A steady stream of new graduates, each taking a moment in the spotlight to receive the unwieldy academic hood that symbolically proclaims “Congratulations, Doctor!”

That’s how the College of Pharmacy minted 12 new doctors of philosophy and 94 new doctors of pharmacy last Friday morning. 

The video slideshow here captures some of the joy and excitement of the 800 or so graduates, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, spouses, children, sweethearts, friends and colleagues who came to Centennial Hall to make Convocation 2014 special.

Steven Boyles, PharmD class president, recalled many of the challenges faced by class members during their academic journey and said, “We became a family in these halls.”  Remarking on the transition from sharing experiences to embarking on new individual pathways, he said, “Change is never good or bad; it simply is” and reminded classmates “to make your mark on the world and never forget where we began.”

Each graduate took the opportunity to thank those who contributed to his or her academic success and provided support through the rough spots.  While relatives and friends were named most frequently, and faculty received many mentions, there were some unusual and  humorous inclusions, too. Grateful grads thanked “Team Shambles,” UA Security, family dogs, the Pat Tillman Foundation,  UA Vets, the just-razed McDonald’s on Speedway and Yortoise the Tortoise.

And with that, the Class of 2014 transformed from students to UA alumni.

Many of the new grads already have plans for their next steps. According to information they provided for the Convocation program, 43 say they’re going into community/retail pharmacy. Thirty will pursue further training as residents, while three will enter PhD programs. Another was enrolled in the PharmD/PhD program during her professional education and will continue PhD work. Two plan to become hospital pharmacists and one intends to become a pharmacy benefits manager.

See more photos of the big day in the college's Flickr 2014 Convocation album.

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